How Do Vegetarians Celebrate the Holidays? : Menus: Several chefs from leading vegetarian restaurants dish out recipes for meatless holiday dinners.


What would you serve in place of ham or turkey or roast if, this year, you were going vegetarian?

The Times asked several chefs from restaurants that serve vegetarian food to help us out with an entree from their menu. Here are the results from chef Annie Somerville of Greens, an all-vegetarian restaurant in San Francisco; manager Winston Winslow of the Source, one of Los Angeles’ oldest vegetarian/now Continental restaurants; Brian Houde, chef at Nowhere Cafe in Los Angeles, and chef Manuel Broulard of the Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga Canyon.

We’ve included a salad and dessert to help you round out the meal if following the menus becomes too difficult. Try them on special occasions or throughout the year.


Here’s a sit-down menu that originated at the Tassajara and Zen Center for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Buddha’s birthday and Buddha’s Enlightenment Day celebration when Green’s chef, Annie Somerville, was a student there.


Sage hearth bread

Butternut squash and apple soup with creme fraiche and mint

Green’s Cheese and Nut Loaf With Wild Mushroom Gravy

Cranberry-pear relish

Sauteed kale and chestnuts with brown butter


Grilled fennel

Salad of Winter Greens

Persimmon-mascarpone tart

Mineral water with Pinot Noir grape juice



1 head radicchio

1 head escarole

1 bunch watercress

1 head frise

1 head Belgian endive

3 tangerines

Citrus Shallot Vinaigrette

Freshly ground black pepper

3 kumquats

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Break or cut radicchio and escarole into bite-size pieces. Place in large bowl. Break watercress, frise and endive into same bowl.

Peel and section tangerines and add to greens. Toss with Citrus Shallot Vinaigrette. Season to taste with pepper. Garnish with kumquats and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Makes 8 servings.


Citrus Shallot Vinaigrette

Zest of 1 tangerine

2 tablespoons tangerine juice

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar

5 tablespoons light olive oil

1 teaspoon minced shallots


Combine tangerine zest and juice, vinegar, olive oil and shallots, mixing well. Season to taste with salt. Makes about 1/2 cup.




1 1/2 cups walnuts

1/2 cup cashews

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced, optional

2 tablespoons margarine


1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

1/2 to 1 ounce dried shiitake or porcini mushrooms, stems removed, soaked 20 minutes in hot water and chopped

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup cottage cheese

9 to 12 ounces shredded Gruyere, Cheddar, Muenster, Fontina or Jack cheese


Wild Mushroom Gravy

Roast walnuts and cashews at 350 degrees until toasty, about 5 to 7 minutes. Chop fine and set aside.

Cook onion and garlic in margarine over medium heat until translucent. Season to taste with salt. Add chopped mushrooms, dried mushrooms, parsley, thyme, marjoram and sage. Cook until liquid released by mushrooms has been reduced.

Combine onion mixture with rice, nuts, eggs, cottage cheese and shredded cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Lightly butter 9x5-inch loaf pan. Line with buttered wax paper or parchment paper. Fill pan with mixture and bake at 375 degrees 1 hour or until golden. Loaf should be firm to touch.


Allow loaf to stand 10 minutes before turning out onto serving platter. Remove paper. Serve with Wild Mushroom Gravy. Makes 1 loaf.

Wild Mushroom Gravy

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 1/2 cups Wild Mushroom Stock

1 1/2 teaspoons tomato sauce or 1 teaspoon pureed sun-dried tomatoes

2 tablespoons whipping cream or creme fraiche

Salt, pepper

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in flour and cook over low heat 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Bring Wild Mushroom Stock to boil. Whisk into cooled flour mixture. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook sauce over low heat, stirring frequently, 25 to 35 minutes. Makes about 2 cups.

Wild Mushroom Stock

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

1 cup hot water

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces mushrooms, sliced or chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup leek greens, coarsely cut into 1-inch pieces

4 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

2 bay leaves

6 sprigs parsley, coarsely chopped

3 sage leaves or large dash dried sage

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

9 cups cold water

Cover dried mushrooms with hot water and set aside.

Heat olive oil in stockpot and add mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, leeks, thyme, bay leaves, parsley, sage, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes over medium-high heat.

Add dried mushrooms and soaking liquid, plus cold water. Bring to boil. Simmer 45 minutes. Strain stock through fine-meshed sieve. Use as is, or return to stove to reduce further for intensified flavor.

Chef Manuel Broulard and owner Lucile Yaney provided this menu and recipe from their holiday menu.



Spinach tomato wheels with goat cheese

Corn curry squash cashew soup

Vegetarian loaf with yeast gravy

Cranberry-orange nut salad with sour cream Cognac dressing

Homemade bread (wheat - free) onion-walnut-barley rolls

Cranberry-cherry chutney


Baked corn pudding

Fireside carrot bundles in sweet mustard sauce

Yams, dates and nuts in orange basket laced with rum

Persimmon mousse with pomegranate sauce

Chef Manuel Broulard suggests adding your own creative touches to seasonings and even substituting oatmeal or brown rice for the millet.




1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon oil

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced, optional

1 cup chopped mushrooms

2 cups cooked millet

1/2 cup coarsely ground pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup coarsely ground sunflower seeds

1/4 cup coarsely ground almonds

1/4 cup chopped parsley

4 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons liquid vegetable broth concentrate

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasonings

Dash curry powder

Dash dried crushed sage leaves


White pepper

Vegetable stock

Tamari Gravy

Saute onion in oil until tender. Add celery and cook until tender. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook lightly.


Combine millet with onion mixture, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds, parsley, eggs, vegetable concentrate, Italian seasonings, curry powder, sage and salt and white pepper to taste. Mix well.

Place mixture in oiled parchment-paper-lined 8x4-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees 1 to 1 1/4 hours, basting as needed with vegetable stock to prevent top from drying out.

Carefully remove loaf from pan and cut into slices. Serve with Tamari Gravy. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Tamari Gravy

1 small onion, minced

1 carrot, shredded

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 tablespoon oil

1 tablespoon tamari

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

2 cups vegetable broth

Saute onion, carrot and celery in oil until tender. Stir in tamari, yeast and broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduce by a third. Strain or puree in blender until smooth. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Note: Nutritional yeast (brewer’s yeast) is available at most health food stores.

The menu consists of the Source’s most popular vegetarian dishes.



Three lettuce salad with balsamic vinaigrette , roasted pecans and sliced red potatoes


Mother’s Eggplant Saute with pine nuts

Brown rice or couscous

Date-Nut Cheese Cake

Chardonnay (Kendall Jackson, Napa)

If you are doing the greens, use red and green leaf lettuce with butter lettuce. Make a vinaigrette of Balsamic vinegar and olive oil and garnish the salad with roasted pecans and tiny red potatoes. (Note: This recipe got very mixed reviews from the Food staff.)



1/4 cup oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices

1/4 cup chopped mushrooms

1/4 cup chopped black olives

2 tablespoons pine nuts

2 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese

1 (6-ounce) can tomato sauce

Tomato Gravy

Combine oil and garlic and heat in skillet. Add eggplant slices and cook until lightly browned on both sides, turning once.


Top with mushrooms, olives, pine nuts, cheese and tomato sauce. Cover and simmer over medium heat 15 minutes. Serve with Tomato Gravy. Makes 6 servings.

Tomato Gravy

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (6-ounce) can cocktail vegetable juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup melted butter

Combine tomato sauce, cocktail vegetable juice, oregano, garlic and butter. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Restaurant manager Winston Winslow boasts that Date Nut Cheesecake has been the Number 1 favorite for more than 16 years.




2 cups sour cream

1 pound cream cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

3/4 cup honey

15 large pitted dates, chopped

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Nut Crust

Honeyed Whipped Cream

Combine sour cream, cream cheese, vanilla, almond extract and honey in bowl. Add dates and walnuts. Turn into Nut Crust and bake at 300 degrees 55 minutes. Cool, then top with Honeyed Whipped Cream.

Nut Crust

1 cup ground almonds

1 cup ground walnuts

1 1/2 ounces melted butter

Place almonds and walnuts in bottom of buttered 8-inch spring form pan. Stir in butter and press mixture to form crust. Bake at 375 degrees 15 minutes. Cool.

Honeyed Whipped Cream

1 1/2 cups whipping cream


Whip cream and sweeten with honey to taste.

The menu created by Nowhere Cafe chef Brian Houde is loaded with nuts and berries.



Warm mulled cider

Acorn squash and fino Sherry soup

Winter salad of lola rosa and sundried pears and walnuts

Vegetarian Chestnut Loaf With Country Gravy

Baby green beans

Rhubarb-cranberry chutney


Sweet potato puree

Pumpkin pie with braised apples and huckleberries

You can substitute most any pureed vegetable for chestnuts to the basic loaf mixture to vary it throughout the year.



6 celery stalks, cut into 1/4-inch dice

3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound chestnuts (fresh roasted and peeled, or canned in water)

1/4 cup tamari or dark soy sauce

2 cups millet

2 cups water


Vegetarian Country Gravy

Saute celery, carrots, onion, garlic and thyme in olive oil in heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat until tender. Add chestnuts and tamari. Cook until dry. Remove from heat and cool.

Bring water and millet to boil. Cook, stirring, until water is absorbed. Bake at 450 degrees 10 minutes, then remove and cool.

Place cooked millet in food processor and process until powdery. Add vegetable mixture and process until smooth. Divide mixture into 6 to 8 portions and form into patties. Cook on well-oiled griddle until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Serve with Vegetarian Country Gravy. Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Vegetarian Country Gravy

1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 carrots, peeled and diced

4 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon tamari

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

2 cups water

Saute onions, carrots and celery in olive oil in saucepan until lightly browned. Add tamari, yeast and water. Boil until vegetables are very tender. Puree in blender. Makes about 2 cups.

Note: Nutritional yeast (brewer’s yeast) is available at most health food stores.